I was very lucky to get a copy of Stitch Nation By Debbie Stoller Collection 1 in the mail to review from Coats & Clark. This full color booklet has 13 patterns (14 if you count the flower corsage that goes with the capelet) in it all using the Stitch Nation Yarn. You will find 10 knit and 3 crochet patterns. The breakdown is 3 neck patterns (scarf, shawl and a capelet) 2 hat patterns, 2 blankets, 1 bag, 1 pair of mittens and 5 sweaters. Of the 13 patterns only 1 of them is an easy pattern. This book is definitely for the intermediate or confident beginners. Just like most yarn specific booklet it doesn’t have a “learn to” section. Let’s start out by saying this is a very attractive booklet. The styling is very nice the pattern layout is great and the instructions are clear and full. Charts and schematics are clear and easy to understand. If you are looking for a booklet that is in the same vein as the Stoller books you won’t find it here. The photos are well done and the booklet layout is attractive it just doesn’t have the feel of the books and it doesn’t pretend to.
This hat is so cool and slouchy
To me the patterns are very safe and mostly conservative. When I think of the Debbie Stoller and her books I think of trendier, avant-garde and fashion forward knitting designs. These patterns seem pretty basic and straightforward. You won’t find weird stitches, techniques or innovative cables. The stitch patterns and cables are pretty traditional and come straight from a stitch dictionary. The booklet does have a good range of small and large projects.
I liked the variety in the patterns from hats to sweaters it is a nice mix. My favorite pattern is the Flying Colors Hat. I made this hat for a test knit and I loved the blister stitch. The hat has a Bohus feel to me and the back of the pattern is very slouchy. You can’t see it in the pictures but the back of the hat is purled giving the hat cool texture which balances the color work in the front. I thought the mittens looked huge on the models hands. The booklet has a lot of color but for the most part the most of the projects are either one color or a small blend of colors. I feel that the Stitch Nation yarn color palette screams color work to me. The Over the Rainbow blanket and the Gardening at Night Bag have nice color work but I wanted some Fair Isle or Intarsia in a young and fresh way.
I want this in a heather brown
I also was disappointed that the projects did not list the designer. In the SNB books I really liked the designer bios. It should be known that Heather Dixon designed some of the patterns. She is listed as the designer on Ravelry for about half of the patterns with Debbie listed as the designer for the rest. The Cable Car Coat is nice and would make a great go to sweater for the fall sweater. The photo for the Morning Frost Wrap is so lovely and romantic it is a super simple wrap that would feel great around the neck especially if you did it in the Bamboo as suggest. Basically the booklet is nice; the patterns have a good variety range and a good vehicle for the yarn. I realize that Coats is trying to reach a broad audience and this does that very well. Don’t forget you can also find some great free patterns on the Stitch Nation website.
So now the fun stuff! Coats& Clark has given me a fresh new copy of the booklet to give away. If you want to try to win a copy then just leave me a comment. Put your Ravelry name in the comment so I can contact you. If you don’t use Ravelry than just leave a comment and check back in two weeks (April 9th) to see if you won.